Your Fall Maintenance Guide

Our fall maintenance guide includes a breakdown of items for inspection so that you can be sure your home is always running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. 

Check exterior finishes for signs of deterioration (peeling paint, loose siding, cracks).

Recoating or re-staining any peeling paint, repairing loose siding and re-caulking any cracks will help prevent the damaging effects of sleet, snow and ice during the winter months.

Check garage and garage door tracks for deterioration and lubricate bearings.
With the garage door closed, check your garage door panels from the inside, ensuring there are no loose pieces, cracks, separations or damage. If necessary, lubricate bearings.

Plant or seed a new lawn.
The fall season’s cool air and warm soil is perfect for planting grass seeds and allowing time for new grassroots to develop before the winter sets in. Planting seeds in the fall will result in a thicker, greener lawn next spring.

Clean or replace furnace filter, humidifier and heat recovery ventilator (HRV).
Furnace filter: A clogged furnace filter will impact air flow throughout the house; be sure to replace it every three months.

Humidifier: Ensure the equipment is off before servicing (consult user manual). Remove the white cover plate on the front of the unit, then detach filter. Gently clean so as not to remove the protective coating that helps retain moisture, then reinstall.

HRV: Ensure the equipment is off before servicing (consult user manual). Gently clean and dry HRV filter before reinstalling. A light vacuuming of the HRV unit may be required, as some dust and debris from the exterior can make its way in.

Check and clean clothing dryer vent for lint and/or damage.
Clogged ducts can affect your dryer’s performance and shorten its lifespan; in severe cases, build-up can potentially cause a house fire. To clean your dryer vent of lint, unplug the appliance and vacuum the lint trap using a cleaner equipped with a bristle brush attachment. If duct is damaged (punctured or kinked), replace immediately. If uncomfortable with cleaning the dryer vent, consult a professional for maintenance. 

Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
GFCI outlets help prevent you from electrical shock, as they are specially designed to cut power from the outlet when an imbalance or power surge flows through them. To test, locate the two rectangular buttons between the cord slots. Press the test button with your finger; you will hear a snap that trips the outlet and cuts off the power to the two plug connections. Once confirmed that the safety function is working properly, press the reset button to restore power to the outlet.

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working correctly. Cachet homes feature dual function smoke alarms (hard-wired with battery backup) that should be replaced only when the unit’s lifespan has been exhausted, approximately every 10 years. Check your fire extinguishers to ensure there are no leaks and that the pin is in place.

Drain exterior water lines; shut off exterior water supply.
Ensure that your system is properly winterized before the first frost to prevent damage to your exterior water supply during the winter months.

Check roof for loose or cracked shingles.
Examine your roof’s shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during the summer. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose are missing granules and need to be replaced.

Check sealing around windows and doors for air and water leaks.
To help increase your home’s energy efficiency, recaulk seals on doors and windows. 

Check water heater for leaks.
For gas heaters, if rust is present without signs of a leak, condensation may be forming inside the tank. Call Enercare for any servicing matters.

Check and clean eavestroughs and downspouts.
Remove debris and use a hose to flush out eavestroughs.

Check and service any exterior electrical.
After a summer of heavy use, many landscape features and systems -– including outdoor light fixtures, hot tubs and exterior pot lights — may need servicing. Contact a licensed electrician to check your exterior electrical and eliminate any potential problems come the spring.

Point gutter spots away from the direction of your house.
Point gutter spouts at least three feet away from the base of your home to ensure that water, snow and ice won’t pool around your foundation during the cold winter months.

Test septic system and clean if necessary.
Inspect your septic system for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your tank. If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the T-shaped outlet, or if the top sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped clean. If uncomfortable with cleaning the septic tank, consult a professional for maintenance. Inspect basement or crawl spaces for moisture. The use of a humidifier will greatly help reduce moisture levels in the home. Cold cellar vents should not be obstructed or blocked to allow air flow (it is not recommended to use a cold cellar to store organic goods, as it can promote mold growth).

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